TL;DR: Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck was hacked in early 2018 for more than $500 million. Accounts at the time and since have placed the blame on black hats from North Korea. Recently, however, local media in Japan uncovered what they believe is enough evidence to suggest perhaps Russians were the main culprits.
Hack of Crypto Exchange Now Thought Work of Russians
Numbers are actually closer to $534 million worth of the token NEM were swiped by attackers linked to the Hermit Kingdom. However, virus programs normally associated with Russian fingerprints or calling cards have been recently tied to the giant hack. Computer terminals were impacted, seeds were hijacked, and the rest is so much cryptocurrency history.
“According to several sources involved in the survey,” the news agency explained, “employees’ computers have found viruses called mokes and netwire. In any case, the infected PC is taken over and operated remotely. [Mokes] were first marketed in a Russian bulletin board in June 2011 and are believed to be used among Russian hackers. Netwire has been confirmed for 12 years.”
Osaka, Japan-based news outlet, The Asahi Shimbun (朝日新聞), a large circulating legacy paper in the country, published the reporting that insisted viruses such as Netwire, Mokes, and Smoke Bot were infecting Coincheck computers … all of which have been linked to supposed Russian and Eastern European hackers. The Asahi quotes unnamed experts as also concluding, “There is a possibility of a crime by a group of unknown hackers.”
Shortly after the hack, Coincheck was purchased by Monex in spring of 2018, and began trading again late last year. By April of 2019, the exchange was actually expanding into over-the-counter (OTC) trading. “Coincheck is now offering OTC trades for bitcoin core (BTC),” CoinSpice reported at the time, “which the exchange referred to as its ‘Target currency.'”
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.
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